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ESTATE PLANNING

First, you need to determine whether your estate would best be served by:

a Last Will and Testament,
a trust,
joint ownership of assets, or
named beneficiaries on assets.

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

If you will be executing a Will, then you should decide who will administer it; that person (the executor) will be appointed by the Surrogate's Court to take charge of the assets after your death, to take care of the administration responsibilities and finally distribute the balance to the beneficiaries that you name.

You should also determine

REVOCABLE TRUST

After the trust is drafted and signed, you transfer your assets to it.

When you die, there are no formal court-required notices to specific relatives.  In fact there is usually no Surrogate's Court involvement whatever.  Your trustee simply continues to follow the directions laid out in the trust.  If it says to make distributions, the trustee does that.